Archive for March, 2007

I’ve finished Forster’s A Passage To India, which is a wonderful book. Reading it is akin to eating watermelon with a spoon. It just gets redder and jucier as you go along. The quote is taken from a scene near the end and struck me as a lovely image of intercessory prayer, in addition to being one of the most purely redemptive and hopeful moments in the book. The character, the Indian Hindu Professor Godbole (I daresay not a coinicidental name), is contemplating on a moment in a ceremony when he remembered an old woman from his past:

It was his duty, as it was his desire, to place himself in the position of the God and to love her, and to place himself in her position and to say to the God, ‘Come, come, come, come.’ This was all he could do. How inadequate! But each according to his own capacities, and he knew that his were small. ‘One old Englishwoman and one little, little, wasp,’ he thought, as he stepped out of the temple into the grey of a pouring wet morning. ‘It does not seem much, still it is more than I am myself.’

So,  my fantastic new blog plan is to revert to my old plan.  That is, put something out in the virtual air every monday, wednesday, and friday.

It’s very tempting NOT to blog.  I’ve been posting infrequently for about a month.  During that month,  I have received an unprecedented number of phone calls,  in-depth emails,  and chats from various long-lost friends and relatives.  Coincidence?  Hardly.  If not blogging means I get to hear from you, I’m all for permanent hiatus!  Or maybe I can just randomly quit now and again to see what human contact I can rustle up.  I love to hear from you fine people.

It’s way past my bedtime.  Today the wind is blowing at banshee levels.  The desert dust is all roiled up and the palm trees look ridiculous, like 80′s rock stars with their hair blowing first this way then that.   The air was the color of peanut butter.  I’ve been wondering what a dust sandwich would taste like.  If there’s one thing I detest it’s a mouthful of grit.  I bet the Iron Chef guys could make an interesting Dust Ice Cream.  That should be the next secret ingredient.

I’ve been randomly selected for jury duty.  In Baltimore.  They want me to fill out a lot of checkboxes before five days is up.  Tick, tock, tick tock.  Probably I’ve already expended my five days in the mail forwarding system.  I’ve locked all the padlocks against the Brute Squad that is no doubt on its way to round me up, with Andre the Giant at the fore.   Wait, here’s a useful section:

“Do you wish to be excused?  YES  NO   If yes, check reason below and give details.

  • age– 70 or over
  • undue hardship
  • organized militia
  • medical or physical reasons
  • extreme inconvenience
  • work is of public necessity”

I’m going to go with extreme inconvenience.  That Phoenix-Baltimore commute is really taxing.  Though as I child I once organized the neighborhood children into a platoon. Somehow the stickers from fruits were involved.  That counts as a militia, right?

It’s been a week of record highs. Even up at the Grand Canyon, where we went with my parents last Thursday, the sun wanted to press right through one side of my face and out the other. The ravens rose and dove as we crept down a trail that carved into the cliff face and snaked out along ridges. We descended until we caught sight of the Colorado River, an oily green streak far below. Dr. G had arcs of red dust that settled on the backs of his legs. The persistent dust crept into the corners of my eyes and dusted my scalp. My ears were full of dust and my nose ran red. The cell phone died searching for a signal. A sharp breeze whirled through and knocked Dr. G’s hat over the ridge, in sight but good as gone. They have books there, in the big store not far from the edge, about all the ways that people have died. We didn’t feel even close to dying.

It is hard to wake up at 5:15 am.  The sun isn’t even out yet and the birds are just tuning up.  I equate early mornings with nerdiness.  Birds are nerds.  I’m on a 7:30-4:00 schedule to try to alleviate some of the traffic difficulties, but it still means about an hour each way, more if I take Dr. G to work first.  Trying to get myself in bed with my eyes closed by 9:30 every night is a hassle.  There are regular battles with my inner preschooler.  I’m not tired!  Yes you are, you’re exhausted.   I need a drink!  I need a story!  I need a back rub! Pick one of those things.  We don’t have time for all three.  What if something really cool happens while I’m asleep?  Nothing really cool will happen.   But we just got home 20 minutes ago!  It can’t be bedtime yet!  Yes, it is. Now lay down.  I mean it this time.  Fine!  Fine.

Events have conspired to keep me from blogging, but I’m still raising the usual ruckus and trucking along.  When we have guests staying with us, I lose computer access (they stay in the room with the computer), and we are in the midst of a stream of guests.  And I’ve started my busy new job.  So, expect very rare posts for the next few weeks.   Update:

  • car returned from repair shop today and you can’t tell anything ever happened to it.  yay!
  • Kate came to visit from Virginia!  Yay!  Snowstorm kept her here a few extra days, which was sad for her (daughter, husband, new house and work awaited) but nice for me.  More yakking!
  • Alain from Congo is here, after his failed attempt to visit in November.  He was astonished when we stopped at a walmart to look for an international phone card.  “I saw one of these supermarkets in Texas,” he said.  “Same shape, same size, same color, same paint.  It’s very strange!  It’s incredible!” 
  • Started my new job yesterday.  I think I’ll like it.  It comes with gadgets.  My favorite.
  • My parents are coming, we’re going to visit the grand canyon.  Heard on the radio that it was only eight degrees there this morning.  hm.  That sounds cold.